DeepSec2021 Talk: QKD-based Security for 5G and Next Generation Networks – Sergiy Gnatyuk, PhD. DSc.

Sanna/ November 16, 2021/ Conference, Security

Modern information and communication technologies (ICT) implementation in all spheres of human activity, as well as the increasing number and power of cyber-attacks on them make the cyber security of the developed digital state vulnerable and weak. Cyber-attacks become targeted (so-called APT-attacks) and attackers carefully prepare them, analyzing the identified vulnerabilities and all possible ways of attack. The security and defense capabilities of the state are considered in an additional fifth domain titled cyberspace (after land, air, water and space). World`s leading states develop strategies to protect cyberspace, create cyber troops, develop and test cyber weapons. A significant number of cyber-attacks today are aimed at critical infrastructures and government organizations.

Traditional security methods (in particular, cryptographic algorithms) do not fully protect against all currently known attacks, they are potentially vulnerable to attacks based on quantum algorithms (Shore`s, Grover`s, Deutsch-Jozsa etc). These methods are based on the fundamental impossibility of an attacker to solve some complex mathematical problem (unordered database search, factorization, logarithm in large discrete fields etc.) in polynomial time. But the increase in the computational power of advanced ICT as well as the potential “quantum computer in the hands of an attacker” is a security and privacy threat and it encourages the search for alternative security methods, which will secure the post-quantum period. Such alternative approaches can be methods of quantum and post-quantum cryptography. Quantum Cryptography (Quantum Key Distribution, QKD) does not depend on the computational power of an attacker, uses the specific unique properties of quantum particles and is based on the inviolability of the laws of quantum physics. The main advantages of QKD are the ability to define an attacker and ensure information and theoretical security. QKD includes the following protocols: protocols using single (non-entangled) qubits and qudits (d-level quantum systems, d>2); protocols using phase coding; protocols using entangled states; decoy states protocols and others.

World`s leading QKD company ID Quantique has developed many QKD systems, QRNGs, Quantum-Safe security devices as well as implemented these systems in 5G deployment projects with SK Telekom, British Telecom, Deutsche Telekom and other cellular operators. Today QKD is an important part of 5G and next generation networks.

At DeepSec, a QKD-based post-quantum period security system will be presented and analyzed. Impact of Quantum computing on cryptography (secret key cryptography, public key cryptography, hash functions) will be assessed and analyzed. Author`s QKD / QSDC protocols and additional security procedures will be presented. The methods of QKD integration into different 5G network slices will be shown and explained.

We asked Sergiy a few more questions about his talk.

Please tell us the top facts about your talk.

My talk is related to QKD and other quantum technologies implementations for security and privacy in 5G and NGN. The analysis of advanced quantum security systems and devices will be presented. The review of the modern quantum projects will be carried out. Impact of quantum computing (quantum threats) on up-to-date cryptography will be assessed and analyzed. Developed and improved QKD / QSDC protocols as well as additional security procedures will be presented. The methods of QKD integration into different 5G network slices will be shown and explained.

How did you come up with it? Was there something like an initial spark that set your mind on creating this talk?

In 2006 I was a Master degree student and I have read some information about QKD. From this day on, QKD has been the most important and interesting research topic for me. I’ve worked with QKD devices and I have performed many research projects, wrote many papers and books. I heard about your conference from a friend and decided to create a talk and speak at DeepSec.

Why do you think this is an important topic?

Cryptography principles will change in the post-quantum period. QKD is one of the most prospective ways for its improvement. It can be implemented in 5G / NGN and other ICT domains.

Is there something you want everybody to know – some good advice for our readers maybe?

Quantum cryptography is not fiction as well as quantum threats are not myths! These are all new realities that you need to be prepared for!

A prediction for the future – what do you think will be the next innovations or future downfalls when it comes to your field of expertise / the topic of your talk in particular?

I think, in the future, cyberspace will become a key battlefield as well as a place to gain global superiority over the enemy. It is possible to create international cyber alliances, control the production of cyber weapons, etc. Quantum technologies will become increasingly important and relevant in various spheres of human activities.


Sergiy Gnatyuk holds PhD and DSc (second academic research degree in Ukraine) in cybersecurity, he is Professor in Computer Science. Sergiy is Professor and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Cybersecurity, Computer and Software Engineering at National Aviation University as well as Scientific Advisor of the NAU Cybersecurity R&D Lab Also, Sergiy is a cybersecurity expert and consultant for state and private Ukrainian and international organizations. He is a speaker and organizer of many international cybersecurity events as well as the author of many books, patents and papers. The topics of the papers and books are cybersecurity, QKD, 5G and NGN security, incidents response, CIIP and others.

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